Seeing plays at the Oregon Children’s Theatre has always been one of my oldest daughter’s favorite things to do. This time, she was eager to see a play based on a book she had enjoyed reading. For kids and adults alike, there’s something magical about seeing a book come to life, and Oregon Children’s Theatre does not disappoint with their musical adaptation of the Newberry award-winning book Ella Enchanted.
Ella Enchanted tells the story of Ella of Frell: at her birth, was cursed to obey every command. At age 15, she sets out on a quest to break the curse forever, embarking on an adventure and encountering nasty ogres and evil stepsisters.
We wondered how the book would translate to the stage. Would there be ogres and giants, fairies and magic, would there be forests and hills? How would Oregon Children’s Theatre pull off such a grand tale? We were excited to see the set seamlessly transitioned from a forest to a castle to a finishing school — completely bringing to life Ella and her world.
The actors did a great job transitioning between multiple characters, too. Christopher Kehoe was one of our favorites: he was so serious as Sir Peter and then absolutely hilarious as the Squire. The audience loved the ogres and giants. When they came on stage, there was a collective gasp and children’s eyes grew to the size of dish saucers. Their presence was overwhelming at first, but their dancing and kindness made them lovable and fun.
Sophia Takla as Ella was my daughter’s favorite. I think my daughter saw a little something of herself in Ella’s fight to be who she was meant to be. It was great to see a strong female character modeling perseverance and empowerment.
Ella Enchanted pulls together many elements from various fairy tales, and Oregon Children’s Theatre did not miss a beat. Creative sets, strong cast performances, toe-tapping music and positive messages about being true to yourself make OCT’s Ella Enchanted a great show for your fairy-tale fans.
October 20-November 18
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
Recommended for ages 6 and up
Runtime: 70 minutes
Tickets and more information: www.octc.org